JULY 4, 2017: VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3: COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS

Fishing reports by our own FISHING UNITED - FIELD REPORTERS.

JULY 4, 2017: VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3: COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:40 pm

VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3:

COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT

on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS


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It has been more than a few days back on terra firma after the latest VOYAGER - NANTUCKET 3-day offshore wreck & jigging trip, and in going through all the pictures taken throughout the trip I can only say that the images here speak for themselves as coolers were easily filled and some customers were actually looking forward to going home early! Yes it was one of those wonderful fishing trips, despite some unseasonable-like early July weather that brought us a noticeable chill in the air and fog that surrounded us for most of the two days fishing around the infamous Nantucket Shoals.

Before I go any further in this fishing tale, I would like to start with the people who greatly contributed into making this one memorable fishing trip with the two guys on deck, Chris and Danny along with the ever smiling Maria in the galley, all who literally worked triathlon like hours from Friday through and to Monday afternoon until the VOYAGER returned to its home port along Channel Drive in Pt. Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.

Unlike as written in my other 'Field Reports' through the years, I am also deviating here to a commentary like format (and thanks to Maria for sending a few of these pictures over)....


From dropping and picking anchors to working through unimaginable "how do we get this out" tangles, to gaffing for hours upon hours and cutting fish from morning until night, both Chris and Danny never let up....

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The activity around the galley started with George bringing in a delicious treat (a home made stew to die for) and Maria then performing her culinary magic over the next few days...

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To the fishing, and in part a mention about the weather....two adjectives immediately come to mind, that being 'quirky' and 'unseasonable' for early July as the eastward trek to Nantucket featured steady southwest winds blowing and a sometimes bumpy beam sea-ride. Then it became a mix of two days of a good, damp chill lingering in the air, and fog which at times "figuratively" engulfing the view around the boat from dawn until dusk. As I previously stated, unseasonable July weather forced us to wear fishing garments more commonly seen in the fall of the year, but that never inhibited the fish from biting the way they did on this trip....

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The game plan put together by Captain Jeff is in part much dependent on the conditions in each area due to the current and direction of the wind. Throughout the day a combination of anchoring and drifting over a number or deep and shallower shipwrecks and obstructions was done before steaming off to the most easterly fishing grounds that the VOYAGER has ever traveled to. More drifting through the noted 'jigging' grounds was the routine for the next day. Over two days of fishing is built into this trip so that fishermen can use either bait fish or squid/jig heavier and lighter diamond jigs throughout the trip.

With the fishing day starting as early as 5:30 in the morning and at times ending after 8 pm at night, it does give one relief especially if they prefer to jig most of the day on these trips. It also gives the angler the flexibility to target at times different bottom species which will range from the "main three" of cod, pollock and haddock to the steady fishing with bait for white hake or bergalls larger than a legal size blackfish in New York (the vast majority over 16")...


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How do you know your off Nantucket? Just take a peak at the water temperature gauge...

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In taking a look at the tackle, I like to pass along a few suggestions once again in order for fishermen to be prepared with the preferred rods and reels along with the proper terminal tackle.

First I just like to make this one little point since it had happened to me on a previous trip and happened to one regular angler, not once but twice....bring along an extra tip top for your favorite rod with some ferrule cement (aka tip top adhesive) in your tackle bag. Besides having an issue with the inner ring within the guide frame being knocked out by reeling up a swivel against the ring, worn and grooved tips become problematic on these trips due to all the reeling up and dropping down over the two days....


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Rods and reels. I have my preferences....bias in this one area after using many different outfits over the years. My old time traditional Shakespeare 'Gut Buster' 108 and 120 are spending more time in the rack at the bunker while my rods of choice has given way to Ralph Rodwinder - Ultra Custom wrapped - Super Seeker line or CSB 909 or MB 114 3F rods that now make up the main arsenal for this fishing. There are other fine blanks on the market such as the various Calstar Grafighter - 700/800 series, the original 'Codleone' for a stiffer action or to a rod with a much more progressive action in the Seeker CJB 80H (by the way this is the rod which Captain Jeff uses). Whatever custom rod you buy, make sure it is cut to the proper length for party boat fishing as well as being laid out properly.

As for reels, conventional star drag reels ranging from Newell 300/400/500 series to original aluminum framed Daiwa 50H and 300H, Pro Gear 3500 and 454, Penn 113HN or 113H with add on custom frame kits or one of the best higher priced reels made in the original and long discontinued Daiwa Saltiga 30H and 40H. Personally, for those looking for a reel under 50 dollars (or less at the winter tackle shows), a used Daiwa Sealine 50H and 300H are by far the toughest 'workhorse' reels for this type of fishing....


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A simple to make jig and sinker pail put together within half an hour...load it up with your favorite jigs (more on this in another thread) and sinkers from 16 through 24 ounces....

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I have found that it is easier to quickly locate your surgical tubes, cod fly's, curly tails and teasers if you pack them away in three separate plastic containers. It is highly doubtful you will lose ten surgical tubes, cod fly's or pink curly tails on even these extended multi-day trips. Have a number of dropper loop rigs made up on 60 lb test coil leader material and add a 50 lb mono topshot to the braided line on your reels and you are all set. For those making up bait rigs, your choice of either 50 or 60 lb test here. I do know of someone who makes up rigs with 80 lb mono line. Yes it will work and holds up to abuse, but goodness it's a chore to break out of an obstruction when stuck........

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Normally I prefer to jig and will use a combination of Norwegian and hammered/nickle/chrome diamond jigs in different weights along with either surgical tubes and cod fly's. As a pretty consistent rule for pollock (strangely enough I have one pic with a large bergall that took a slowly cranked tube off the bottom), the dark palette colors of fire engine red, blues, purples and the old time favorite of forest green are candy for pollock.

Cod fly's are also one of the go-to teasers to use especially when the fishing gets a little picky. I caught the largest pollock of the trip on a green cod fly teaser. As much as I prefer the pink color cod fly especially for haddock, I can pass along that the darker shades of green out fish everything. So multi-color dark/light combinations such as black/yellow are surprisingly very successful. I also have been using a cod fly tied on a Matzuo Sickle style Hooks (thanks to K.D. for this tip) and they are impressive. For cod, CURLY TAILS (normally in hot pink) tend to out fish both fly's and tubes.

The important walkaway point here, "whatever color you choose on your teaser, if it is not catching fish, SWITCH COLORS, and in switching, going from a light shade to a dark can make a big difference in catching fish. The same applies from going from tubes to curly tails and finally cod fly's. Eventually you lock onto a combination that can literally give you a fish a cast....


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I have to also point out a teaser that was a surefire winner on this trip, and it was Sergio who was using this plastic on his jigs along with his dad (I will later post a picture on what they caught during the second day of the trip). It made me take notice, and I would now put it on the "to have list" as a teaser that should be picked up and tried for this type of fishing (from what I was told, available in FISHERMEN'S SUPPLY)...

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Lets go wreck fishing, and here are a few spots that were fished upon. Bait readings were noticeably different from just a month ago...

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A new one with what seemed to have a net over the high part of the wreckage....

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A few nice groundfish on this one...

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But....there was one area where the fish have moved along from in just a month. Good depth to find some fish, but few were found here...

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Some of the notable fish I was able to take pictures of....

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A few interesting sights with two small monkfish, one of which I caught, along with a big bergall which took a large surgical tube I had squidded off the bottom...

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"You find these here too?"

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Getting back to one months difference in time from the prior Nantucket trip, sand eels and other bait was much scarcer. A few of the cod spit up white crabs. Squid were around, and I just happened to pick one off on one of my teasers....

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During the trip, I work through a number of different rigs and teasers to see what catches more fish and which teasers work better than the others. It is a good idea to consistently try a few different jigs and teasers especially on the jigging grounds. I had great success with a 12 oz - 99C (chrome) and a green cod fly with silver flash....well until it got hung up on the mussel bottom! Smaller in size jigs normally out fish larger jigs...hint - hint. Again, and to harp upon it, pay attention to what each specie of fish are taking...though the schoolie pollock normally jump on the flies and tubes....

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I should point out here that it is not that bait does not work on the jigging grounds, but I pick my spots when to drop a bait rig down. One time I was rewarded with one of the few red hake caught on the trip. Once on the jigging and drifting grounds, I and a few others do that and strictly cast and swing jigs. Other fishermen though consistently fish with bait and are also rewarded on the jigging grounds. This is a personal choice on what to use on these trips....

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The halibut part of this fish tale...

Those who have old dragger logs for the fishing grounds off of Nantucket may see scribbled indications of 'halibut' and wonder if in fact it is correct. Halibut here? Many years ago Captain Greg of the YANKEE CAPTS told me about an area where halibut were caught while fishing along the drifting grounds. One of the tip offs around these parts are clumps of mussels, some 'horse' in size which are commonly snagged on fisherman's gear.

It is more luck than anything in hooking and as much boating a legal size Atlantic Halibut, and it just happened that Captain Jeff put the VOYAGER on the right drift where a few were hooked into, and two brought to the boat with the one in the pictures below, retained...


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What was the keeper halibut caught on?

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Yes "go figure" a ball-penned hammer jig with a siwash hook and hot pink curly tail. So much for live bait or fresh bait strips on a heavy bucktail head!

Lets see a few more of the fish caught at the end of the trip along with the pool winning fish...


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Special mention....and high hook, Ed 'Bunker Dunker' who will dazzle you with the way he can work a jig for cod....

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Whiting, and yes there were some whiting caught and kept (goodness a few of us would trade some of our cod for whiting these days!)....

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Though bergalls were not targeted on this trip, 'big unit' choggies are routinely caught. Most were put into the pails around the boat for anyone to take home for a dinner or two...

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More interesting sights on this trip....

How about this haddock...what caused these marks....


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A whale of a show one afternoon as two whales stayed with us throughout each and every drift....

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Finally reached the infamous 'Rainbow Grounds'.......

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Sunlight or sunset....or does it really matter when fishing one of the finest fishing grounds along the east coast?

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A few big targets on the radar coming out of the fog in the inbound and outbound 'NA' shipping lanes......

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A peak in some of the coolers....

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Pretty much filled up the fish box, just add ice....

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In the stern it became a regular site to see the crew working and cutting a pile of fish during the last day of the trip....

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Early on Monday afternoon the VOYAGER finally made its way to Manasquan Inlet. There was a noticeable upward temperature difference rise in the water temperature gauge and the cool sea breeze now giving way to a hot, humid day on land as the VOYAGER pulled into its slip...

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**************************************************


The next upcoming:

** VOYAGER ** 2.5-DAY NANTUCKET COD WRECK AND JIGGING TRIP leaves July 27 returns 9/10 AM on Sun. July 30


On another note from Mel on the halibut on the official accurate weight of this halibut:

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FYI - The photo of the halibut that includes the scale is somewhat misleading. The 66.2 pounds shown on the scale includes the tare of the tote and the rope. Jeff told me the true weight of the halibut after the tare weight was removed was 60.2 pounds.


There will be more in another thread on some of the tackle, but more importantly I would imagine that the fishing for the upcoming Nantucket trip will be as good as both Sergio and his Dad saw on day 2 of this trip...

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EC NEWELLMAN
 
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Re: JULY 4, 2017: VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3: COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS

Postby Salty Bones » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:01 am

Great write up Steve and lots of good info! It was a pleasure sharing the rails and talks with you. Best trip of my life! Thank you, Capt. Jeff and Dennis, and Dave, Chris, and Maria for all the hard work and planning it took to get this mission accomplished!!
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Re: JULY 4, 2017: VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3: COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS

Postby bluefish69 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:54 pm

Great write up & pictures of the trip, as always. You miss understood my PM before the trip.


I have Rodwinder's first Codlione still in good shape. It will never be used again. Just be fair.

Mike
Show me a man with both feet on the floor and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants on.
bluefish69
 
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Re: JULY 4, 2017: VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3: COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:31 pm

Thanks for the replies here! You nailed it Salty Bones.....crew did an incredible job on this trip.

It sounds Mike that you are hanging up the first Rodwinder Codlione on the wall then. It's an excellent option for those who tilefish or like to party boat jig tuna. I have one myself.
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EC NEWELLMAN
 
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Re: JULY 4, 2017: VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3: COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS

Postby NMSBob » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:12 pm

Great write up Steve, loved the pictures.

Bob
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Re: JULY 4, 2017: VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3: COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS

Postby bluefish69 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:32 pm

My rods will never see the wall. 1 Rod by Sean -- 1 Rod by Ralph -- & 1 8' Gusa Wahoo all 8' will be seeing the Hack Saw soon.

Mike
Show me a man with both feet on the floor and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants on.
bluefish69
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:21 pm
Location: Jungle Junction N,Y.

Re: JULY 4, 2017: VOYAGER: NANTUCKET 2.0 - JULY 1,2,3: COD - POLLOCK - HADDOCK - WHITE HAKE - HALIBUT on the OFFSHORE WRECKS & JIGGING GROUNDS

Postby nickh » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:19 pm

It's amazing that they had near perfect weather on both trips. :o
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